Zhuangzhuang honored with best director

Franziska Meletzky’s German film “According to the Plan,” an aud favorite, took the feature nod as the 10th Shanghai Film Festival concluded Sunday night with the closing ceremony and Jin Jue Awards presentation.

Director gong went to Chinese helmer Tian Zhuangzhuang for his meditation on life in post-war Japan, “The Go Master.”

Each of the two films took nine awards, making them the biggest winners of the evening.

“The Go Master” also drew the cinematographer prize for d.p. Wang Yu and, in one of the biggest surprises of the night, the four leading actresses from “According to the Plan” jointly took the actress nod.

The Jin Jue jury, chaired by Chinese director Chen Kaige, also consisted of Spanish multihyphenate Fernando Trueba, German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, Italian actress and producer Maria Grazia Cucinotta, French writer-director Luc Jacquet, Chinese director Lu Chuan and Japanese director Kohei Oguri.

The last event of this year’s fest, the closing ceremony attracted several big name regional stars including headliners Jackie Chan, who presented an award, and Gong Li, who didn¹t. Big name Western stars were lacking.

Festival closed with a screening of director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s widely acclaimed “Flight of the Red Balloon.”

Earlier, on Saturday evening, Chinese film “Bliss,” directed by Sheng Zhimin, drew the pic nod and Bangladeshi helmer Golam Rabbany Biplob took home the director gong for “On the Wings of Dreams” as the Shanghai Film Festival’s Asian New Talent Award competition wrapped.

Ten films competed for top honors in the fest’s sidebar competition, and each of the two winners received prize money of 150,000 yuan ($19,700).

Golam, clearly very moved, described receiving the award as one of the three best moments of his life.

International jury for the contest consisted of Chinese director He Ping, Hong Kong director Mabel Cheung, French film critic Jean-Michel Frodon, Japanese director Isao Yukisada and Thai helmer Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

He Ping noted enigmatically that the Special Jury Award had this year been cancelled, “which does not reflect badly on the quality of the films. It was just a point of principle.”

In a peripheral competition, Wang Fen’s “The Case” won the Students’ Choice Award.

A complete list of Jin Jue Award Winners:

Feature Film: “According To The Plan” (Germany) by Franziska Meletzky

Jury Grand Prix: “The New Man” (Sweden/Finland) by Klaus Haro

Director: Tian Zhuangzhuang “The Go Master” (China)

Actor: Juan Jose Ballesta “Doghead” (Spain)

Actress: Corinna Harfouch, Dagmar Manzel, Kirsten Block, Christine Schorn “According To The Plan” (Germany)

Screenplay: Shemi Zarhin “Aviva My Love” (Israel)

Cinematography: Wang Yu “The Go Master” (China)

Music: Isao Tomita “Love And Honor” (Japan)

Special Award: “The Knot” (China) by Yin Li

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